Approximately 100,000 individuals in the United States currently await kidney transplantation, and 400,000 individuals live with end-stage kidney disease requiring hemodialysis. The creation of a transplantable graft to permanently replace kidney function would address donor organ shortage and the morbidity associated with immunosuppression. Such a bioengineered graft must have the kidney's architecture and function and permit perfusion, filtration, secretion, absorption and drainage of urine. We decellularized rat, porcine and human kidneys by detergent perfusion, yielding acellular scaffolds with vascular, cortical and medullary architecture, a collecting system and ureters. To regenerate functional tissue, we seeded rat kidney scaffolds with epithelial and endothelial cells and perfused these cell-seeded constructs in a whole-organ bioreactor. The resulting grafts produced rudimentary urine in vitro when perfused through their intrinsic vascular bed. When transplanted in an orthotopic position in rat, the grafts were perfused by the recipient's circulation and produced urine through the ureteral conduit in vivo.
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The present study was supported by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award DP2 OD008749-01 and departmental funds. J.J.S. was supported by an AΩA Research Fellowship and an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. The Program in Membrane Biology Microscopy Core is supported by NIH grants DK43351 and DK57521. We further thank Q.C. Ott for critical review and editing of the manuscript. We thank C. Hoffman, J. Beagle and M. Duggan for technical support with urine sample analysis. We thank M. McKee for her expert support with transmission electron microscopy and A. Tisdale for her expert support with scanning electron microscopy.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Song, J., Guyette, J., Gilpin, S. et al. Regeneration and experimental orthotopic transplantation of a bioengineered kidney. Nat Med 19, 646–651 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.3154
npj Regenerative Medicine (2022)
Journal of Artificial Organs (2022)
Frontiers of Medicine (2022)
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (2022)
Clinical and Experimental Nephrology (2022)